Mark Creighton, the former Dentsu Aegis Network chief operating officer, will become CEO of AVADO Learning


Be #agile or be at risk 

Agility has always been an important mindset but we now find ourselves in the position where it is a matter of extreme urgency and relevance. For example, if online learning wasn’t seen as a strategic imperative before Coronavirus, it certainly has become one more or less overnight and is now a defining quality of companies adapting to survive.

What’s important to keep top of mind amidst all the chaos is that as an industry, we remain people focused, from tutors and product designers to the learners themselves. A people first mentality needs to be the centre of any changes to a business model right now.

Learning experiences can help people grow and develop to achieve goals that result in professional development and career progression. When thinking about business strategy this also applies. We need to think about how we can learn and adapt in this new environment, because if you stay on the current path and don’t change, then your risk falling behind or worse, losing relevance.

This means asking ourselves honestly what is and isn’t working. Making informed decisions, monitoring, and pivoting if necessary.

We recently held a webinar on this exact topic with Neil Perkin speaking as an agility expert and the key tips I took away and would urge others to consider are:

1. Practice clear ‘waterfall’ communications in a learn-fast environment

The current business climate is fluid and fast-changing. You only have to look at the new agenda – it’s different every day. The same change can happen as quick, if not quicker, in a business. What you thought was the right move yesterday may no longer be the best decision today.

This means building and practising ‘waterfall’ principles in a learn-fast environment to help you and your team adapt and maintain relevance. In a time of uncertainty, having clear top-down communication can create stability, structure, and purpose for the wider business.

2. Encourage multi-disciplinary teams

When faced with roadblocks and new challenges, a multi-disciplinary team can come up with ideas that otherwise would have taken time or external input to recognise.

Equally, encouraging teams to take this time now to identify areas of professional development that could help them thrive or succeed will give your teams an edge.

3. Invite questions and encourage curiosity

Good leadership is about inviting questions. Agility is often as much a question of culture as of leadership—if everyone feels empowered to make suggestions, new ideas are more likely to come to the surface, and a change of tack will not only be faster but easier too. Organisations that have an open culture of curiosity and empathy will generate more good ideas from all employees.

It’s equally important that employees at all levels feel they have the opportunity, and the right, to ask questions—think of it as a test; if you can get it past everyone on your team, or even in your organisation, and answer all of their questions, you’re less likely to discover a fatal flaw later on. On the flip side, every good leader should know and understand their teams’ concerns or challenges. Failure to ask or understand how other people are handling a situation will only create blind spots.

4. Ask for questions and encourage learnings from mistake

Empowerment can work wonders. A team who are enabled to work flexibly, and who know their needs and opinions are valued and that no idea is a bad idea, are more likely to speak up if they spot a problem or spot an opportunity. This means inviting everyone at all levels to be willing and open to learning from previous mistakes but also explore where they could have avoided the outcome.

It can often be a simple question of knowing about how a mistake occurred and empowering people to speak up and share. In other occurrences, it may mean taking a moment to assess and execute a plan immediately, so that you can pivot quickly.

5. Use data to drive decision making

For a company to be agile, it’s important to have the right technology in place first and foremost. In today’s day and age, this means having a data culture that sits at the heart of decision making. Having a data culture relies on identifying what data is accessible, effectively managing it, and empowering your teams to use it effectively. Only then can you use clean (or relevant) data to drive strategic choices.

Making fact-based decisions, however, requires knowing what good data looks like and which untrusted data reports to disregard. Don’t hesitate to use the time to develop and upskill your staff to learn how to distinguish what information is accurate in informing strategic decisions rather than relying solely on gut instinct.

An agile mindset can be a force for positive change, even in the most challenging circumstances. It’s not always easy but it is much easier than the alternative— which is to find yourself stuck doing things ‘the old way’ in a world which has forever changed.

Mark Creighton, CEO, AVADO Learning

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Zoom in on Apprenticeships

Georgia chats with Victoria Gage, Careers Hub Lead at Devon County Council.

Future Skills Centre

Welcome to the Future Skills Centre. A fully refurbished venue operated by Exeter College in partnership with Devon County Council, the Future...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 12 minutes ago

Activate Learning students are chosen to appear in nationwide showcase: Activate Learning (@Activate_Learn) is exci…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page